The Painting School is situated on the first floor of a large house and comprises: a north facing main studio with plenty of natural light, a large discussion room, a studio/kitchen and bathroom. Facilities include easels (both studio and field) and drawing boards, but do not include paints, pencils, brushes, paper or picture supports (though we can usually help out if necessary). We stock turpentine and fixative because these are forbidden on aircraft.
Students have the use of a number of gîtes (officially approved holiday cottages) in the village, each of which, besides bedrooms and bathrooms, has a fully equipped kitchen, a lounge and a balcony or garden, most of which have extensive views over the surrounding countryside. Normally bathrooms are shared between two or three students, but private bathrooms may be available at an extra charge.
Castelnau de Montmiral has a population of just under one thousand. It has a hotel, the Hotel des Consuls, two restaurants, a pizzeria, a salon du thé, a bar, a grocery store, a post office, a pharmacy and a doctors’ surgery. Wifi is available at the Painting School and in some of the gites.
Views of three of the gîtes
A communal continental breakfast will be served daily in Au Baladin de la Gresigne, a local salon du thé that features a terrace with panoramic views.
- Evening meals
We arrange four evening meals when everyone eats together as a group. These take place on arrivals day, on the second day, on the last day and on one other day during the course. Three of them will be cooked by the Course Director’s daughter Katherine, who is a professional chef. The fourth will be at another location.
“Katherine’s meals are always a joy: huge imagination and very fresh ingredients cooked perfectly.“ Hugh Moore
- Other meals
All other meals students arrange for themselves. For those who wish to eat out, they can do so at one of the four restaurants or, if they would like a sandwich lunch, at the salon du thé. Anyone who wishes to self-cater can do so in their gîtes, whether separately or in groups, using the facilities provided. Supplies can be purchased at the local grocery store, at shops in nearby Gaillac and, on Tuesday mornings only, at the weekly market in the Place des Arcades in Castelnau de Montmiral. Though the restaurants and the grocery store accept credit cards, students are advised to bring sufficient cash for small expenses as the nearest ATM machines are 12 km away in Gaillac.
Food to enjoy and to buy
Students at work
The two slideshows below show students at work in the studio and outside in town or countryside. The first shows some of them mixing colours, a key part of the teaching at the Painting School of Montmiral. The second illustrates the blend of seriousness and fun which characterises the sessions.
Seriousness and joy